Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Iguanas on the Santa Cruz beach
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Highlights

  • Journey through Peru’s Incan Empire to Ecuador’s wildlife rich Galapagos Islands
  • Hike the Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, ‘Lost City of the Incas’
  • Sip Pisco sour cocktails in Cusco’s bustling Plaza de Armas
  • Up close wildlife encounters with giant tortoises, reptiles and blue footed boobies
  • Snorkel and kayak with sea lions, sea turtles and tropical fish

Combine hiking to the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu with an exploration of the Galapagos on this adventure discovery tour of Peru and Ecuador.

Starting out in the colourful plazas and cobbled streets of Cusco, trek into the hills above Cusco and explore the mighty Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Accompanied by your expert guide, venture into the Sacred Valley and follow in the footsteps of the Incas, hiking the Royal Inca Trail to Inti Punkti (the sun gate) where the hidden citadel of Machu Picchu is revealed.

Jetting via Quito, transfer to Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Staying in land-based accommodations each night, discover the rich bio diversity of Santa Cruz and Isabella island. Kayak and snorkel amongst the colourful marine life, marvel at tropical birdlife, stroll amongst century old giant tortoises and hike up to the crater rim of Sierra Negra. Each evening, relax within the natural surroundings of your private reserve and enjoy a drink upon the sundeck of your beachfront resort.

Day 1 Arrive Cusco

The Incan city of Cusco is an hour’s flight from Lima. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Cusco sits at 3400m above sea level and therefore we suggest to take the day to relax and allow your body to gently acclimatise to the altitude. After lunch, enjoy a gentle stroll to the nearby Plaza de Armas. Later in the day, your guide will return to brief you on the days of adventure ahead!


Meals included: Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 2 Hills of Cusco & Sacsayhuaman

After breakfast, transfer to the hills above Cusco and explore the giant Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman (3700m). This was the site of fierce battles between Incan leaders and the Conquistadors and you can hike through the giant amphitheatre and discover the impressive water temple of Tambo Machay. Follow a trail to the Temple of the Moon, and descend into the artistic quarter of Cusco, San Blas. A final downhill finishes at the Plaza de Armas, where you can return to your luxury hotel or further explore the colonial architecture of Cusco.


Hike: 6km


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 3 Cusco to the Sacred Valley

Leaving Cusco, transfer to the fascinating agricultural circular terraces of Moray (approx 1-hour drive). Here, begin a 2-day walk to Machu Picchu. From Moray, the trail heads downhill and depending on the time of year, you may have the opportunity to chat with local farmers. Breaking for lunch, enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped Viilcanota mountains before continuing onwards to the salt pans of Maras. The trail then descends into the Sacred Valley where llamas once carried out salt to be sent across the Incan empire.


Hike: 15km


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Ollantaytambo


Day 4 Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Begin with an early morning train journey along the Urubamba River, jumping off at KM104 to join the famous ‘Inca Trail’. Your guide will set a steady pace as the trail ascends over 1000m through tropical cloud forest to the ruins of Chachabamba and impressive Incan bath houses at Winay Wayna. After a picnic lunch, the afternoon walk heads through lush vegetation accompanied by the sounds of tropical birdsong. A final Incan stone staircase ascends to the spectacular Inti Punkti, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the ‘famous first glimpse’ of this well-preserved citadel. From here, continue the descent to your hotel to rest up, as tomorrow a full day of exploration is dedicated to Machu Picchu.


Hike: 12km


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Machu Picchu Pueblo


Day 5 Guided explorations of Machu Picchu

Perched high on a hill top, cloaked in dense vegetation and flanked by steep escarpments, Machu Picchu is an incredible feat of Incan engineering. A short 20-minute bus journey transports you from your hotel to the entrance. Your guide will reveal the temples, gardens and exquisitely preserved stone architecture of this 15th-century citadel. With time for your own exploration, soak up the scale of this ancient site and wander between the giant terraces. In the afternoon, return to Machu Picchu Pueblo and board a train for a picturesque journey along the Urubamba River to Cusco.


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 6 Discover Cusco

Enjoy a free day in the explorer’s city of Cusco. Begin with a relaxed breakfast. Afterwards, wander the cobbled streets and visit colourful artisan markets. Sip a café con leche and people watch from a café balcony in the Plaza de Armas. Later in the day sample traditional Pisco Sour cocktails and a spot of latino dancing!


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Cusco


Day 7 Onward travel to Quito

A transfer to Cusco airport is included at a time of your choice. Flights from Cusco to Quito are not included as many people include in their international tickets. If you prefer, we can easily arrange flights from Cusco to Quito for you.


On arrival to Quito International Airport, a private taxi will take you to your hotel located within the historic district of old town Quito (approx. 1 hour).


Sitting high in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 9,350 feet, this once-ancient Incan city is now the country’s bustling epicentre, boasting 2.6 million people. Enjoy roaming this city’s narrow streets for a mix of 16th-century historic attractions, modern-day shops and upscale restaurants.


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Quito


Day 8 Quito to Santa Cruz Island

Welcome to the Galapagos! After a morning transfer and your flight from Quito International Airport (approx. 2-3 hours), you will arrive at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island, the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and start to your Galapagos adventure. Head to the Itabaca Channel to explore the turquoise waters by kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP) to view blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, herons and white-tipped reef sharks. Paddle through the beautiful red mangrove forests, along lava rocks cliffs, searching for sea life in the shallows. Transfer to the Santa Cruz Highlands where famous giant tortoises inhabit the wild. After lunch, enter your exclusive tortoise reserve and overnight location at the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp. Enjoy a three-course dinner while surveying the mountains, forest and starlit sky.


Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Santa Cruz Island


Day 9 Explore Santa Cruz & South Plaza Islands

Board a yacht for a small group guided tour to the beautiful waters of Punta Carrion for a full morning of snorkelling with tropical fish, reef sharks and graceful rays gliding along the ocean floor. Next, head to South Plazas Island, an uplifted seabed, where a colony of sea lions stretch out to greet you while yellow-grey land iguanas pose to sunbathe atop brilliant scarlet succulents and prickly-pear cactus groves. Further down on the southern cliff, observe nesting swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca sea birds and blue-footed boobies. Enjoy lunch on the yacht before returning back to Santa Cruz Island and an evening spent sharing stories by the main lodge’s crackling fire.


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Santa Cruz Island


Day 10 Explore Isabela Island

Today, explore a small group of islands known as the Tintoreras on Isabela Island. Named after the white-tipped ‘Tintoreras’ reef sharks that swim these calm waters, discover sea lions, rays, turtles, penguins and pelicans. Walk around the island to see almost all of the Galapagos’ iconic wildlife before an afternoon snorkel in the bay. Bike a few miles along a network of trails, beaches and historic sites, to the “Wall of Tears.” Built in the 1940s by WWII prisoners held at the US base on the island, learn about the importance of this wall and the lives of the previous inhabitants. Head back to the hotel for dinner and a peaceful slumber.


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Isabela Island


Day 11 Hike Sierra Negra Volcano

Discover Sierra Negra, the youngest and most volcanically active of the archipelago. Hike up to the crater of Sierra Negra Volcano and the rim of the Volcan Chico, experiencing an alien landscape similar to walking on Mars. Soak in this extreme terrain and amazing views of lava tubes from the summit. Finish the day with a relaxing afternoon spent on the beaches of Puerto Villamil before heading back to the hotel for dinner and sunset.


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Hike: 9km


Overnight: Isabela Island


Day 12 Transfer to Baltra Island, onward travel

Depart the Galapagos Islands with an early morning boat ride back to the airport on Baltra Island, and your flight back to Quito (approx. 2 hours). Add a trip to the Amazon Rainforest to your Galapagos adventure for the ultimate wildlife experience. To add on another tour, or for more information, please contact us here at Macs Adventure and a specialist will be happy to help assist you.

Accommodation

During this trip you will spend 1 night at a boutique hotel in Quito  and 9 nights in 3* and 4* hotels and lodges. You will also spend 2 nights in a comfortable tented lodge on Santa Cruz Island. Examples of the types of accommodation booked on this tour are listed below. On occasion, we may have to use alternate accommodation and will let you know at the time of booking should alternatives have to be used.



Meals


All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 5 dinners are included. Typically,
breakfasts consist of fruits, juices, breads, eggs, muesli, yogurts and a
plentiful supply of tea and coffee.


Included lunches will be in a traditional restaurant or when walking,
will be a picnic style lunch. Picnic lunches are made up of sandwiches
(made of different breads), fruits, sweet treats and local specialities.
Your guide will arrange the picnic lunch for you.


For dinners that are not included you can choose to dine at your hotel restaurant or in one of the many restaurants nearby. There are also an excellent choice of cafes, bars and restaurants in Cusco and Quito so we do recommend exploring the streets to sample the local fayre available.


Should you have any special dietary requirements please let us know. We try to accommodate all requirements where possible but as some of the accommodations are in remote locations, dietary alternatives may not be possible without prior notice. It is essential you let us know at least a month in advance of any dietary needs. Should you have a specific diet, it is always worth bringing a small supply of your own snacks.


Extra Nights

You may like to add extra nights at any
point on this tour. There is always plenty to see in Cusco. If you are
travelling via Lima to Quito we can also easily arrange extra nights in Lima if required. Extra nights can easily be added to your
booking at anytime.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you’re exploring
with friends or family and prefer to have your own room, single rooms
are available subject to a supplementary payment. This tour is not
available to solo adventurers.




 

 

 



Hotel Ananay Quintana - Cusco

Located in artistic quarter of San Blas, this boutique 4* star hotel is only a couple of minutes from the mighty rock of Hatun Rumiyoc and San Blas Church. Guests can enjoy a sipping a Pisco Sour on the terrace or in the lounge area. Rooms are spacious, fresh and are haven of peace after a day of exploring the nearby Plaza de Armas.



 

 

 



Hotel Pakatitampu - Ollantaytambo

This comfortable 3* hotel is a only a few minutes walk from the main square and famous ruins of Ollantaytambo. The extensive gardens are wonderful to rest the legs and soak up the sun before your early morning train journey. Inspired by mother earth, the hotel has been designed to showcase the best of Peruvian culture.



 

 

 



Hotel Mapi – Machu Picchu Pueblo

A 4* contemporary hotel in the heart of Machu Picchu Pueblo. Lofty ceilings, panoramic windows and natural furnishing create an ambience of well-being. After a day on the trails, relax in the hotel spa or around the open lobby bar where you enjoy a beer with like minded adventurers.



 



Hotel Patio Andaluz



Hotel Patio Andaluz

Located in a colonial style house from the late 16th century, this elegant boutique hotel is just a five-minute walk from the renowned Plaza Grande or Plaza de la Independencia, and to many of the museums, churches and historical sites of Colonial Quito.



 

 

 



Galapagos Magic



Galapagos Magic

Magic Galapagos Tented Camp is a million miles from the world’s hustle and bustle. Set in the highlands of Santa Cruz, and away from the waterfront crowds, this totally unique property surprises and delights. All six safari tents have gorgeous views, and is the perfect setting to relax, walk the beautiful mountainside and to admire nature. Giant tortoises call Magic Galapagos their home much of the year, and guests might see a handful roaming the grounds of this private reserve.
While shower facilities are shared, each room has a private toilet and sink. Guest enjoy this exclusive stay in the comfort of private safari tents, hot water, wireless internet and three-course dinners within the open air restaurant.



 

 

 



Isamar Hotel

Isamar Hotel is idyllically located on Isabela’s beautiful white sand beachfront. Its setting gives guests sweeping views of Pacific waves, swaying palm trees and boats bobbing on the water. This beautiful Galapagos retreat is walking distance to a flamingo lagoon, water activities and to the sandy streets of town where guests will find bakeries, restaurants and bars.


Availability


This tour departs on any day of the week from mid-March through to
early December. If you are planning on travelling from June through to
August we suggest contacting us as soon as your travel plans are
finalised as theese can be very busy months on the trails.


Can I tailor the itinerary?

Of course! If you have limited holidays you can easily remove the days spent in Lake Titicaca. Please do let us know at the time of booking so we can adjust the price for you.


Grade, Terrain& Experience

This adventure tour is graded moderate. The
tour begins in Cusco, which is at an
altitude of 3400m. Spending the first 2 nights at this altitude helps your body acclimatise. For further
information on altitude and
acclimatisation we would happy to discuss this with you. 


There are 5-guided hiking days (days 2-5 and
day 11) on this trip. Distances are between 6-11km with a maximum altitude of 3700m. Day 6 is a more challenging day of walking (with up to a 1300m
of ascent). Your experienced hiking guide will help pace the day for you so you can take the day at
a steady tempo. During each walking day, all you have to do is carry a small day pack (with your daily
essentials) and enjoy the beauty of
Ecuador and Peru. Although the paths are well maintained you will encounter some sections that have uneven ground underfoot, so should
be happy to hike along uneven terrain. When
hiking in Peru, you will also encounter stretches of typical Incan stone stairs cases on several of the walks, so be
prepared to tackle longer stretches of steps!


When exploring the Galapagos, kayaking, paddle
boarding (SUP) and swimming are available but you must be feel confident being out
in the waters of the Pacific. Your guide will help you get the most out of each
activity you wish to do and of course tailor it your needs and daily
conditions. You do not have to be experienced kayaker or paddle boarding to
enjoy these water based activities.


Local Guides & Support


This trip is a private ‘day guided’ tour. This
means each day (with the exception of day 6),
a local expert guide (together with a private vehicle where required) will arrive at your accommodation each
morning and lead you through the
trails, towns and natural wonders of Peru and the Galapagos Islands. Days are paced around your needs, which means
you experience the ultimate in hassle-free
travel. In the evening you are free to spend the time as you wish. You will have also 24/7 telephone local
partner support should you need
to contact your guide or Macs Adventure at anytime during the tour.


Equipment


Each day you will only have to carry a day bag with water, snacks, and extra layers and your
camera. On days when you will be travelling to a
new destination, your main baggage will be transported for you. Please limit
your main baggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. It is possible to store excess luggage at your
hotel if you are returning there at the end of your journey.


General Information:

The distances and ascents/descents are
approximations of the recommended routes.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and
pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has
a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm
and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and
lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this trip that you have adequate
travel insurance in place, including for emergency medical evacuation
and/or curtailment of your trip. Please ensure that you check your
policy as it should include cover for trekking at altitude and water based activities.


Getting to Cusco / from Quito

For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site www.rome2rio.com  


To Cusco


Most travellers arrive into Cusco Airport via a 60 minute flight from Lima Airport which has excellent connections to North America and
Europe. We would suggest checking Sky Scanner for the extensive flight
options available.


You may prefer to have an overnight in stop in Lima before travelling
onto Cusco. Please let us know if you would like extra hotel nights in
Lima.



From Quito


Quito Airport  is around an hour's journey time from downtown Quito. There are a number of international airlines flying from Quito to North American and European cities.

Included

  • 1 Night at a boutique hotel, 9 nights in 3* & 4* hotels & lodges and 2 nights in a tented lodge
  • All Breakfasts, 10 Lunches and 5 dinners
  • 4 guided day walks (Peru)
  • Train ticket from Aguas Caliente to Cusco
  • National Park Fees & trekking permit
  • Private transfers to/from Quito International Airport to downtown Quito
  • Return flight from Quito to the Galapagos
  • Guided activities, boat and vehicle transfers per the itinerary in the Galapagos
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fees ($120)
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • 24/7 telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to Cusco / from Galapagos
  • Entrance fees for attractions
  • Lunches & dinners other than those described
  • Personal equipment and expenditure
  • Flight(s) from Cusco to Quito
  • Travel insurance (details of your travel insurance must be provided before travel)

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Single room supplement
  • Flight from Cusco to Quito

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate with 5 full hiking days and 2-3 days where there are shorter (or optional) hikes and walks. You will be a regular hiker and enjoy an active lifestyle. Although the paths are well maintained you will encounter some sections that have uneven ground underfoot, so should be happy to walk along uneven terrain. You will also encounter stretches of typical Incan stone stairs cases on several of the walks, so be prepared to tackle longer stretches of steps. It’s always a good idea to get out and trek back to back days in the lead up to your tour, together with any other activities or fitness classes you usually do.

It’s always a good idea to get out and walk back to back days in the lead up to your tour, together with any other activities or fitness classes you usually do.

When is the best time of year?

The main trekking season in southern Peru is March through to December. Daytime temperatures are usually between 20 to 25 degrees from March through to December, which make for pleasant trekking conditions. Being at altitude means the evenings are cooler and the month (with June to September temperatures dropping to 0-5 degrees). The months of March, November and December may have some showery days but usually the rain doesn’t last for long and typically is an afternoon downpour.

The months of mid-March to May is often the most popular time to go to the Galapagos. This period is during the warm, rainy season, offering warmer temperatures and clearer seas, thus resulting in pleasant conditions to snorkel and swim. Rain typically drizzles daily, but for short periods of time. June to November is the cooler, dry season, with often cooler temperatures, stronger winds and, at times, rougher seas. However, the nutrient-rich waters attract rare fish and underwater species, making this season a great time to go snorkelling and scuba diving.

No matter when you decide to go, the isolation from the mainland and equatorial location make the Galapagos Islands beautiful, full of wildlife, worthy of a visit year-round.

What equipment do I need?

You will not need to any specific equipment for this tour, besides your standard walking gear, including sturdy footwear. We supply you with a comprehensive kit list but if you would like to discuss this tour, please contact the office and we'd happy to share our own experiences.


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